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Officials take threat seriously

May 15, 2014
By J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

On the morning of May 1, a phone call to Austintown Middle School resulted in a bus being stopped and checked by police. It was a precautionary measure that insured the safety of the students.

According to Austintown Superintendent Vince Colaluca, a parent called the Austintown Middle School principal and reported a threat made to their son by another student who wanted to commit and act of violence involving a weapon while on the bus ride to school.

''The AMS principal immediately informed police and they took action,'' Colaluca said.

He said the school resource officer and principal assessed the situation and immediately dispatched a police officer to the location of the bus. Officers met the bus and conducted an investigation to insure there were no weapons.

''The threat came over electronic media,'' Colaluca said.

He said it was a media the school had no authority over, so police had to take over. Had a threat been posted within the school system, through the Drund communications network, it would have automatically been flagged the second it was posted. Since it was on a social network off the school premises, it depended on a parent calling it in. The threat was the result of an escalating conversation off school premises.

Colaluca said the first, and number one, priority whenever a reported threat is discovered is the safety of the students and staff. The timely response of AMS officials and police followed guidelines set up in concordance with the district and state for such situations.

Students riding the bus arrived at school safely and the school district and police department are conducting investigations into the matter.



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